Votes cast Saturday indicate residents do not want wind turbines installed in South Marysburgh.
The South Marysburgh Mirror hosted a vote on the question: “Do you want industrial wind turbines installed in South Marysburgh like the ones proposed by wpd Canada and Gilead Power for their projects near Milford and on the south shore?”
Results of 542 ballots cast: 489 ‘No’; 51 ‘Yes’ 2 spoiled ballots. Based on a population of 868 in South Marysburgh, the voter turnout is 62.4 per cent.
The vote at the Milford Town Hall was restricted to full and part-time residents and property owners in South Marysburgh, with proof a eligibility required. Voting was in person or by proxy.
“This is how democracy is supposed to work,” Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith said. “The debate over wind turbines has torn at the social fabric of the County for most of the last decade. The citizens of South Marysburgh decided to hold a vote and settle an important question.”
Smith said the Green Energy Act, which stripped municipalities of most of their planning and zoning authority for these projects, has left local residents and municipal councils with little say in where wind turbines can be located.
“In an April 13 interview withe the Belleville Intelligencer, Dalton McGuinty stated that communities without majority support for wind turbines would go to ‘the back of the line’.
Smith intends to write McGuinty to inform him of the referendum and question him on what he said to the Intelligencer newspaper.
“What I want to know and what the people of Prince Edward County deserve to know is whether the Premier will direct the Minister of Environment to use the authority granted to him by the EBR process to deny approval for the projects in South marysburgh as a result of the referendum. If he doesn’t then what he said to the Intelligencer wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.”
“I was stunned to learn that this is the first vote of its kind in Ontario, if not Canada,” said Steve Ferguson, editor and publisher. Ferguson hosted the vote to help understand what the community wants.
“I cannot recall a time when I have felt such a mixture of emotions as I do now about our provincial government and the stripping of our rights through the Green Energy Act. With the stroke of a pen, it eliminated any democratic input from municipal governments concerning an issue it knew would affect hundreds of thousands of people, particularly throughout rural Ontario.”
The vote, he says, is not about harnessing or not harnessing the wind to generate electricity; “the vote is about whether it should or shouldn’t be done in the South Marysburgh community using Industrial Wind Turbines.”
At the end of the day, he said, “this vote is all about the future and values of our community,” he said. “Many thanks to all the volunteers who gave up part of their weekend to assist with the vote, and to all the residents and property owners in South Marysburgh who came out to vote.”
Filed Under: Local News
About the Author: